Thursday, 22 December 2016

Scotland Church Records and Kirk Session Records indexes on FamilySearch

I've just discovered a new Scottish collection on FamilySearch - albeit one that has me somewhat baffled as to what is actually contained within it!

The Scotland Church Records and Kirk Session Records, 1658-1919 collection is now available at With some 302,484 entries it's contents are described as follows:

Records of Church of Scotland synods, presbyteries and kirk sessions containing registers of baptisms, marriages, and burials originally filmed at the National Archives of Scotland, CH2 series.

The index leads to digitised images, accessible at a Family History centre, or if you have a registered Family Search account.

Unfortunately, the detail as to what is actually within the collection leaves a lot to be desired. There is a very vague wiki guide at which states that records may be available for all of the counties in Scotland, and from within that time frame. But a few test searches so far have shown it to be very hit and hit miss - VERY hit and miss! - although it does seem to have a lot of post-1855 entries in the mix.

So all that I can say is that this is worth adding to the ancestral toolbar - but until further details emerge as to what is and what is not covered by the collection, please just make sure you understand that this is not in any way, shape or form the entire contents from the National Records of Scotland's CH2 kirk session, presbytery and synod holdings!

For a detailed overview of Scottish church records - including those found beyond the Church of Scotland, don't forget my book Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition), which is packed with useful tips and information on what is to be found in the records, and how to create a comprehensive research plan to locate and use the records.

The book is available in print from various worldwide repositories (see, as an eBook from, whilst the first chapter is available on this blog to give you an idea of what to expect! (see the Kirk History link at the top, or visit


For details on my genealogy guide books, including A Beginner's Guide to British and Irish Genealogy, A Decade of Irish Centenaries: Researching Ireland 1912-1923Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition), Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit

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